Manchester United were beaten 11-10 on penalties after a 1-1 draw playing two hours of football. Gerard Moreno opened the scoring in the 29th minute of the match with Edinson Cavani equalising ten minutes into the second half. Marcus Rashford had a chance to take the lead in the second half but he missed. The penalties were interesting and seeing each team score ten in a row was immense but when David De Gea stepped up, I had a feeling that he would miss, which is what happened. It is unfortunate but it happens. United will now pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get ready for the Euro’s and next season.
It was a pretty even start to the UEFA Europa League final with both sides aiming to start well. I don’t have much confidence in the United defence as Eric Bailly has not really been at his best recently and has spend much of his time on the bench but did play in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday. Scott McTominay had a chance in the seventh minute of the match but missed the target. There really did not seem to be much aggression from United but any attacks they made seemed to be covered by Villarreal, who had everything covered when they needed to, which was good for them – not for United.
United started to get better on the attack but Villarreal were also progressing forward and giving United many different problems. In the 29th minute of the match, Villarreal took the lead through Gerard Moreno, who had scored his 30th goal in all competitions this season. Daniel Parejo played the ball into the forward with only David De Gea to beat but he did not get a great connection on the ball but did enough to beak the United goalkeeper and put his team in the lead. At that time, United seemed down and out and somewhat dejected. Solskjaer was not all the impressed on the sideline after the goal.
United started to progress into attacking positions again after conceding but Villarreal seemed to have it all covered but United were also not playing to the best of their abilities. Bruno Fernandes looked frustrated, as he is a perfectionist and will be seeking to change the game. It was a hairy last ten minutes or so of the first half with Villarreal playing to a certain swagger and United still not rising to the challenge. The half time team talk was probably going to be something reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hairdryer, which was probably not something the team were looking forward to, but something need to give. Villarreal left at the break.
At the start of the second half, there were no changes for either team, when perhaps there could have been at least one for United. Harry Maguire made the bench but it is yet unknown as to how much of a part he could play, if at all but there was a reason that he was put on the bench and perhaps it would be revealed as the game goes on? Ten minutes into the second half, United had got themselves back into the game through none other that Edinson Cavani, who scored his 17th goal of the season. Luke Shaw played a part in the goal after a corner was cleared to him, he found Scott McTominay who had a touch before Cavani took over and scored.
United did have a penalty shout before they scored but VAR looked at it and gave nothing. It seemingly took longer for VAR to give United’s equaliser than it did to look at the possible penalty. Since the equaliser, United had many attacking chances but the finishing was not as good as it should have been. The Villarreal from the first half were not all that present in the second half with United getting more of the chances – I am not saying Villarreal did nothing but there was nothing that could have won them the match. They made some changes but it was not putting them in the position to win and United still had five substitutions to their advantage.
Despite the chances in the second half, there were no further goals in the second half resulting in the match going into extra time. There were still no substitutions for United, which was unbelievable giving the suggestion that the team was in a good period of peak fitness. Marcus Rashford had the best chance in the second half but did not fire his effort on target, which was a shame to see. The luck really is not there for him at this time. Villarreal seemed to be fresh in the first half of extra time with United also looking to cause some damage with Cavani needing a split second to find a goal. Fred replaced Mason Greenwood in the 100th minute.
There were no further substitutions at the start of the second half of extra time. United were under pressure and Villarreal looked the freshest, having made five substitutions in the second half of the match. United made a double substitution in the 116th minute of the match with Axel Tuanzebe and Daniel James replacing Eric Bailly and Paul Pogba. There was so much tension in the match coming to the end of extra time. Luke Shaw seemed to be down with a knock and less then two minutes of time remaining. Juan Mata and Alex Telles were the final substitutions, replacing Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
It was 1-1 after extra time and penalties would decide the result of this match. Gerard Moreno took the first penalty, finding the back of the net. Juan Mata took the second, finding the back of the net. 1-1. Danial Raba took the third, scoring. Alex Telles took the fourth, scoring. 2-2. Paco Alcácer took the fifth, De Gea almost saved it. Bruno Fernandes took the sixth, scoring it with the goalkeeper close to making the save. 3-3. Alverto Moreno took the seventh, scoring. Marcus Rashford too the eighth, scoring it. 4-4 and into sudden death. Daniel Parejo took the ninth, scoring it. Edinson Cavani took the tenth, scoring it. 5-5.
Proper sudden death. Moi Gomez took the eleventh, scoring. Fred took the twelfth, scoring it. 6-6. Raúl Albion took the thirteenth, scoring it. Daniel James took the fourteenth, scoring it. 7-7. Francis Coquelin took the fifteenth, scoring it. Luke Shaw took the sixteenth, just squeezing in past the keeper. 8-8. Mario Gaspar took the seventeenth, scoring it although De Gea had his hand to it. Axel Tuanzebe took the eighteenth, scoring it. 9-9. Pau Torres took the nineteenth, scoring it. Victor Lindelof took the twentieth, scoring it. 10-10. Gerónimo Rulli too the twenty-first, scoring it. David De Gea took the twenty-second, missing it. Villarreal win 11-10.
Goals: Gerard Moreno 29′; Edinson Cavani 55′
Assists: Daniel Parejo 29′; Scott McTominay 55′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood (Fred 100′), Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Henderson; Maguire, Williams, Telles, Tuanzebe; Mata, Amad, James, Matic, Van de Beek
Bookings: Etienne Capoue 54′, Juan Foyth 84′; Eric Bailly 82′, Edinson Cavani 113′
Written by John Walker